Luso: OutsiderThe most peculiar thing about this brown-haired and blue-eyed lad (never mind the concept art) is that, at the time when WotL came out, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, of which Luso is the hero…hadn’t even been released in Europe yet. So it’s not even fan-service, but shameless advertising for a game which turned out to be mediocre at best. Heck, Luso isn’t even optional: you will run into him in a storyline event in Chapter III, being chased by a pack of angry Behemoths (grab one for yourself!) in Zeklaus Desert. Ramza helps him, he says he’s been separated from his friends…and then decides to join the party for lack of anything better to do. Um, ok. And that’s as far as the game addresses his issues or acknowledges his presence. Luso’s unique job is Game Hunter, and it’s basically a clone of Ramza’s Squire with slightly better MP growth. Its Huntcraft job ability includes the exact same skills as Mettle, and it can also learn Ultima by surviving it. Mettle isn’t so useful that you’d need two copies of it, unless perhaps you’re trying to raise a character’s Bravery faster. The only real difference between Game Hunter and Ramza’s Squire is that it has an innate Poach trait, which can save you an ability slot if needed. Other than that, there’s nothing special or interesting about Luso. Except perhaps for his godawful outfit. He’s a Cancer.

Balthier: AnachronisticAs much as I despise the idea of cameos, Balthier is one of my favourite characters ever, so I tend to regard his presence in this game with more indulgence than Cloud’s or Luso’s. It also helps that he’s clearly the best cameo of the three. For those who have no idea who this is, he’s one of the characters of Final Fantasy XII, which takes place in Ivalice several centuries prior to FFT. The dashing sandy-haired and brown-eyed sky pirate has somehow found himself transported in time while looting the Cache of Glabados (this will make sense if you’ve played FFXII). Why Fran (his partner) wasn’t affected is anybody’s guess, but Balthier is now trying to locate the Cache in this version of Ivalice, presumably to see if he can return to his own time. This has led him to be branded a heretic, just like Ramza. He can be recruited in Chapter IV via a Tavern rumour in Gariland, where some bounty hunters set up a trap for him. Balthier’s unique job is, of course, Sky Pirate and his Piracy job ability basically combines Mustadio’s skills with those of a Thief. Add to that the fact that he’s as fast as a Ninja, stronger than a Thief, and that his stealing abilities have a better chance of success, and poor Musty’s pretty much reduced to warming the bench for the rest of the game, regardless of the fact that he’s probably Balthier’s distant descendant (c.f. their last names). Piracy even includes a great unique ability called Barrage, which unleashes four unblockable attacks at ½ of normal power. Really, you can’t go wrong with Balthier, even though he’s no Cid or Reis. Heck, he even comes with a unique gun and armour equipped. He’s a Leo.

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